One book that fills young minds with imagination, creativity, and mystery is Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by James Howe. This whimsical tale of a vampire bunny and his adventures has captivated generations of readers, offering a perfect opportunity for educators to engage students in exciting learning experiences. In this blog post, I’ve compiled six Bunnicula teaching ideas to add a fun learning experience for your students.
From novel study samples to interactive art projects, these activities will deepen students’ understanding of the story and spark their imagination and critical thinking. These activities offer many opportunities for cross-curricular connections, such as art and music.
Bunnicula Teaching Ideas
Teaching Idea #1 – Novel Study Samples
Begin by getting the handout. It includes both the handouts for the activities and novel study samples.
You will find the following in this novel study sample:
- Vocabulary Practice
- Comprehension Questions
- Constructed Response Question
Teaching Idea #2 – Character-Song Matching Activity
Connect music and literature with a dynamic character-song matching activity. This activity helps your students explore the personalities and motivations of the main characters in the novel by matching them with songs that fit their traits.
- Divide the class into groups.
2. Distribute cards (found in the handout) containing song titles and corresponding character descriptions to each group.
3. Instruct students to carefully read the descriptions and listen to snippets of the songs.
4. Decide which song best matches each character. Have students sort the cards into three stacks:
5. Once all the cards have been sorted, have students explain their choices to the class.to
Alternative Set of Instructions
Play one song at a time and ask students to write a brief explanation of how the song connects with one of the characters. Emphasize that there is no right or wrong answer. The goal is to think critically and connect the songs and the character traits.
Teaching Idea #3 – Poster/Collage Activity
Encourage artistic expression as students create character posters or collages that capture the essence of Bunnicula’s quirky cast. Students can depict each character’s unique traits through slogans, quotes, images, and reviews, enriching their understanding of the story while honing their creativity.
Discuss the characters and themes from Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery with the students. Explain that they will create character posters or collages that capture the essence of each character through slogans, quotes, images, and reviews.
Divide the class into groups or assign each student a character (Chester, Harold, Bunnicula). Let them know that they will create posters/collages specifically showcasing the traits and personality of their assigned character.
Provide each group or student with slogans or taglines, quotes from the novel, images, and reviews corresponding to their assigned character. (NOTE: The handout includes a helpful list for this.)
Instruct students to use the provided materials to design a poster or collage that effectively represents their character’s traits and role in the story. Encourage them to be creative.
Assembling the Pieces:
Have students arrange the slogans, quotes, images, and reviews on their poster/collage. They can experiment with different layouts to find what looks visually appealing and conveys the character’s personality.
Once the posters/collages are complete, have each group or student present their creation to the class.
Teaching Idea #4 – Compare and Contrast Activities
Encourage students to explore different story versions and examine how their elements take on new dimensions through various mediums. Start by delving into the captivating narrative through an audiobook rendition of Chapter 1, where Daniel Smith’s narration breathes life into the characters. Transition to the graphic novel adaptation, unlocking insights into how visuals enhance the story’s impact. As a special treat, experience the evolution of “Bunnicula” as it leaps from the pages to the screen, with the complete broadcast of Bunnicula, the Vampire Rabbit from the ABC Weekend Specials created in 1983.
Teaching Idea #5: Enhance Your Bunnicula Unit with Easter Bunny Pretzel Treats!
Looking to add a delightful and thematic touch to your Bunnicula unit? Look no further than the adorable Easter Bunny Pretzel Treats craft! This charming food activity provides an excellent opportunity for students to create while enjoying an incredible treat.
Students can assemble their bunny-shaped treats with simple materials like pretzels, M&Ms, candy melts, and editable markers. The Easter Bunny Pretzel Treats craft brings fun and interactivity to your Bunnicula unit.
Teaching Idea #6: Creating Bunnicula Characters: Fun Art Projects for Upper Elementary Students
Engaging students with creative activities that tie into literature can enhance their understanding of characters and themes in a novel. In James Howe’s “Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery,” the characters come to life with their distinct personalities. With your upper elementary students, you can try exciting art projects inspired by the three main characters—Bunnicula, Chester, and Harold.
Bunnicula Easter Bunny Decoration – Paper Peeps Ornaments
YouTube Tutorial: Bunnicula Easter Bunny Decoration
In this tutorial, students will create adorable paper peeps ornaments resembling Bunnicula. Students can craft cute bunny decorations using simple materials like construction paper, glue, and markers, perfect for Easter or any time of the year. The tutorial provides step-by-step instructions for folding and cutting the paper to create the bunny shape and details.
How To Draw Harold From Bunnicula – Computer Drawing Activity
YouTube Tutorial: How To Draw Harold From Bunnicula
This computer drawing activity tutorial encourages students to create a digital illustration of Harold, the friendly and lovable dog. Using drawing software or apps, students can follow along with the tutorial to learn how to draw Harold’s features and capture his character. This activity blends art with technology, allowing students to express their creativity using modern tools.
Chester – Calico Cat Watercolor Art Lesson
YouTube Tutorial: Chester – Calico Cat Watercolor Art Lesson
This watercolor art lesson by Nicole Miyuki of Let’s Make Art teaches students how to paint a calico cat inspired by Chester. Students will learn basic watercolor techniques while creating their version of the clever and skeptical cat. The tutorial guides students through each step, from sketching the cat’s outline to adding details and colors with watercolors.
Additional Craft Suggestions:
Have students create collages of each character using magazine cutouts, colored paper, and other materials. Encourage them to think about the character’s traits and incorporate elements that represent them.
Character Puppet Crafts:
Students can design and create simple puppets of Bunnicula, Chester, and Harold using craft materials like paper bags, felt, and googly eyes. These puppets can be used for storytelling or dramatic play.
Character Portraits with Descriptive Text:
Ask students to create artistic portraits of each character and add descriptive text around the portraits, highlighting key personality traits and quotes from the book that showcase their personalities.
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery is a great novel that captivates students with its humor, suspense, and mystery. It also teaches students valuable lessons about friendship, family, acceptance, courage, and curiosity. By using these teaching ideas, you can make your Bunnicula unit more interactive and fun for your students.
These teaching ideas are designed to be flexible and adaptable to different grade levels, learning styles, and classroom settings. You can use them as they are or modify them to meet your needs and goals. You can also mix and match them or combine them with other teaching ideas you have or find online.
If you missed the Bunnicula Teaching Ideas handout, you can get it here.